There was an excellent piece on TVNZs Sunday programme last week about cycling (click the image).

Sunday TV show

Its great that they talked to Glen Koorey (sometimes comments on here as Glen K) who made the excellent point that for ~$600 million, we could build an entire cycle network in Auckland. To put that figure in perspective, over the next 10 years the council has budgeted to spent around $5 billion on local roads so that doesn’t even include all of the money proposed to be spent on the motorways. Re-prioritising some of that spend could see the entire proposed cycleway network (below) completed in less than a decade.

Regional Cycle Network

Let’s stop mucking around and just get the thing built. At the very least, wouldn’t it be wonderful to at least say we have “completed” one transport network – of course I’m sure that there is still more that could be done so cyclists, please don’t jump on me for that comment ;-).

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106 comments

  1. Can’t agree with this more. Cycleways are a great way to get cars off the road, as well as reduce pollution etc etc. The cycle infrastructure here is so half-baked it’s nor funny – I cycle to work along Rockfield Road, which only has a bike lane along half its length despite the road being the same width and the other bit recently being resealed?!? (I’ve let CAA know BTW). This plan is such good value for money it needs to happen). More power to Glen K and his plan…and apologies for nicking the ‘Glen’ handle 😉

  2. I have a question about the design of the cycle ways. Which is, are they designed? Or are they just an exercise in laying asphalt and concrete along a track? Call me an ungrateful cur, but by the look of them Auckand’s cycle ways have been designed and built by people who don’t ride bikes and who haven’t really thought that much about them. No lane markings, no lighting in sections, no shelters, no camber to stop large puddles forming, no thought to installing windbreaks, etc. I have never used dedicated cycleways overseas. Is our poor design and construction typical everywhere?

    1. A lot of Auckland’s existing cycle infrastructure is compromised by being done on the cheap. The budget specifically for cycling is woefully small, and while some projects include cycling improvements out of other budgets these are often almost token gestures.

    2. Newer sections show a huge improvement (Bond Street to St Lukes along the NW cycleway) but yes, many older parts are now pretty obviously sub par. I’ll be interested to see how much the SH16 causeway work manages to raise the standards.

      Personal note: for me a case in point of terrible cycleway design is the “clover leaf” turn that goes under the Newton Road bridge and loops up onto the bridge itself. It’s not for its existence per se (although enough people object to it on that basis already), but for the love of God, that *camber*. It slopes right away to the outside of the turn, not the inside, as if it were actually designed to make falls more likely. How hard would it have been to set it out properly so it’s possible to climb or descend with some degree of comfort and safety?

  3. I’ll have a lot more to share about this when I get back from New York, but for now I’ll say: 1. All of the cycle activists here — ALL of them — mention the business and economic benefits of bike infrastructure (paths, corrals etc), with specific references to specific businesses in their stories. Glen K’s piece was the first decent and clear mention of ROI in mainstream news I’ve heard in a very long time. In fact I woke up in the middle of the night last night wondering why our politicians waste SO MUCH of the time we pay them for in arguing about how to properly measure ROIs of between 0.3 and 1.8 for certain transport projects (cough Roads of Notional Significance cough) — when there are viable and proven transport projects available that will deliver ROI that is **an order of magnitude greater**. 2. All of the interviews we’ve undertaken here have been while riding on a genuine designed separated bike track, or having used more than one to get to the interview. I haven’t been stuck in traffic once in 35km of traveling over two days – between Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan. It is *bliss*.

    1. Great point well made Greg. To be fair the CAA bang on about benefits ..but yes we can all do more. Has anyone calculated the ROI on the $600 m? I could well imagine it’s several $ bn.. maybe even >$ 10 bn.. counting the wider (but directly attributable) health benefits as well as urban transport outcomes per se.

      Not enough people know this! I find it intolerable that $ 10s on bn of roaring projects are planned and/or underway ahead if cycling infrastructure. We need to shout about benefits as well as costs.

      1. Hey BigWheel – yes, you’re right, the CAA crew are great at mentioning benefits; I was noting that the disparate crew here (BikeNY; NJ Cycling & Walking; Park Slope Residents; Streetfilms; Transportation Alternatives) all and each have specific stories and are getting them heard. The attention they get might be partly because they’re all very well funded and have full-time pros on the job — Paul Steely White for one has been heading Transportation Alternatives for 9 years as a full-time job!

        It’s not just the weather that’s going to make it a very hard landing coming back to Auckland…

    2. http://copenhagenize.eu/index/

      Auckland is light years behind these cities re cycling.

      As the third most obese nation in the world would have thought the benefits might even be higher than noted given the rapid growth in stomach stapling etc 😉

      $100m-200m would go a long way to change the mindset in Auckland, which is pretty cheap compared to new motorways and rail systems. Also would have thought cycling would meet the strange ideological criteria that governs New Zealand’s public transport spending, as it ticks the low ongoing cost and individual freedom/self reliance boxes. Maybe Gerry B. should give Boris a call!

  4. So $600m to complete the whole network, sounds like a bargain?

    But like most things I assume there are a lot of low hanging fruit. I wonder what we could get for the first $200m for example?

    1. A good start would be for any road upgrades to be built with a cycle way or a cycleway in mind. The additional cost would be minimal and therefore the only significant spend would be to connect the sections together to make a viable network.

  5. i think cycling on footpaths should be allowed, whats the point of getting hit by a car when its safe on the footpath.

    1. I agree. But if there’s an accident on the footpath then the fault should automatically lie with the cyclist and not the pedestrian, just like the fault on the roads should automatically lie with the vehicle not the cyclist.

    2. Be careful.. !! Cycling on Auckland’s footpaths is far from risk free.. for the cyclist, never mind the pedestrian. The problem is all those vehicle crossings*, many of which are entrances to steep driveways, out of which cars can appear, maybe reversing, the driver unsighted.

      Auckland’s footpaths contrast with many of Germany’s or Holland’s in this regard in that the footpath includes either a separate or combined cycle path which is considered continuous.. vehicle crossings at driveway entrances and even at side streets cede to the footpath.. and drivers act accordingly.

      1. Drivers are supposed to give way to people on footpaths, the issue is that they generally don’t bother and the police don’t appear to bother enforcing it. I’ve had police actually fail to give way to me when walking along a footpath so it’s not the law at issue rather a lack of enforcement, and hence more than likely a lack of knowledge that this is the case. Note that often a sign is installed saying ‘give way to pedestrians’ the implication being that you don’t normally need to do that.

          1. Which I always read as “Make way, peasant! His royal highness the motorist is approaching!”.

            It’s shocking, when I drive in or out of a driveway, how many people give me a surprised friendly wave when I stop the car and let them past. One would hope that people would just take it for granted.

          2. I went past on eon a steep hill on a push scooter, completely ignored it as I am entitled to do and nearly got run over. Driver had the audacity to honk and get riled too!

    3. I disagree Violet. As a frequent pedestrian and cyclist, I would feel safer (relatively) cycling on the road. This is because our friendly motorists have a nasty habit of hurling their cars out of driveways without a thought about anyone using the footpath having right of way. A similar programme to the Sunday item could well be made about being a pedestrian in urban Auckland – footage of near misses, driver arrogance and poor footpath design would be obtained very easily.

    4. Violet, I did some investigative work on the suggestion that cyclists are safer on footpaths and discovered that it actually increased the risk to cyclists by 20% compared to riding on tthe road, a pretty standard figure across about half a dozen studies.

      The danger came from two areas, drivers emerging from driveways without giving way to users of the footpath (how many of you know that people on the footpath have right of way over driveways?) and at intersections. The intersection issu was from drivers turning across the path of a cyclist crossing the road. When turning the mindset is to give way to traffic on the road and then proceed without further consideration. A pedestrian can stop almost instantly if a car turns across their path, but a cyclist has more momentum and might not stop unitl in the path of the car.

      Cycling on footpaths is banned because it is not safe(r), period.

  6. In the ITP there is one one intersection, ONE INTERSECTION, costed at 500million. And there is already a functioning intersection there; SH1/SH18. It cannot possibly have an ROI anywhere near building a cycling network for this money.

    We must invest in the missing modes next, that has to be the priority. We will likely find that the existing road network works much better….

    1. That’s a classic example of the mode bias in NZ today, that it can be considered acceptable to spend 200-500 million on a single intersection but completely neglect an entire transport mode namely cycling.

        1. Indeed, there has been no problem getting funding to upgrade all the interchanges on the northwestern and even perfectly functioning ones like at Western Springs have budgets programmed in for ‘upgrades’. The ROIs on these must be terrible.

      1. Yes it is an incredible modal bias when you think about it. $500 million on one intersection (that is not particularly toasted) when the same money would provide a relatively complete regional cycle network

        Oh New Zealand; we are so backward.

    2. I thought that was the price for constellation an greville, and upgrading the expressway to a motorway?

  7. I completely agree. The lack of civilised cycling infrastructure in Auckland (and NZ in general) is the #1 factor pushing me to move to a more enlightened city overseas, e.g. Amsterdam.

    Cycling is pure joyous transport freedom. And I can’t see how it cannot provide considerable macro-economic benefits: It reduces expenditure on cars/fuel etc, which in turn should improve the country’s balance of trade. And that’s before you even get to the health benefits.

    Wish the pointy heads at MoT and Treasury could gather round and start to support the economic christmas tree that is cycling.

    1. Julie-Anne Genter will probably the first transport minister in a generation that isn’t overweight and actually cycles an uses PT as a choice not as a photo opportunity.

  8. I find the segment on the cycling vigilante disturbing. I rarely encounter problems with drivers. The few instances of abuse I have experienced were from drunk people on foot.

    1. Kent Ponsonby Rd must be some kind of weird exception then, drivers are often very aggressive and abusive there, I ride it nearly everyday I am in Auckland. Perhaps they are frustrated by driving there, despite having two lanes for its length plus dedicated turning lanes and median strip….?

  9. I find it ironic that they claim cyclists ride on footpaths and then show a cyclist cycling down Jean Batten Place a shared space in which cycling is specifically allowed. In any case, it’s often too dangerous to cycle on the road so why should cyclists not be allowed to use the footpath at times.

    1. Yes, quite right. In Germany, Japan, and many other countries, old grannies ride their bicycles on the pavement to do their shopping. TheBigWheel is probably right in advising caution though, given how many driveways are effectively ‘blind’ for vehicles exiting them.

      1. Case in point is Grafton Rd, the section next to the motorway is actually completely unsafe to cycle on, right next door down the embankment is a path which you’re technically not supposed to cycle on but is the only safe way to get up and on to the cycle lanes on Grafton Rd. For this reason NZTA and AT refused to install a lowered curb and you have to drop down the kerb everytime you go through here. Idiotic planning basically.

  10. In regards to the guy on the programme filming cars, what exactly is the legal status of this, can police use this to charge a driver if it’s reported? Or is it again simply the pointless letter than police send out when you file a roadwatch report?

      1. Thanks interesting, I am guessing in most cases they wouldn’t want to accept evidence from third parties because the chain of custody isn’t really secure meaning in court someone could simply claim the photos were doctored. Would be harder to do with videos I guess, but still possible.

  11. Bravo! I think it’s only a matter of time before there is an outbreak of common sense and some much-needed catch-up for the decades of neglect shown to NZ’s cyclists.

    And as somebody alluded to above, elsewhere in the world Conservatives are very much in favour of cycling spending, due to the value for money, self-reliance, rebalancing of trade and the ‘force-multiplier’ effect on reducing other transport spending once cycling reaches a certain critical mass.

    One has to wonder, is the fuel excise duty and road user charges revenue worth too much to the government (and its lobbyists) for them to want to risk being the enablers of a steady decline in it? The same could be inquired of support for rail transit too, of course.

    And furthermore, is road-building simply seen as an ideologically-acceptable form of Keynesian economic stimulus?

    1. Your last question is a telling indictment of the economic management of this National Government. They preach fiscal restraint (which I tend to agree with under normal circumstances), while at the same time blowing billions on uneconomic highways.

      Not only are they inconsistent, but the highways they have hamfistedly hand-picked are not a particularly effective form of Keynesian stimulus!

      Considerably more bang-for-buck (i.e. jobs) would be likely to come from Government investment in public transport and cycling infrastructure, or an expanded home-insulation scheme, than the grand old white elephants known as the RoNs.

  12. Wow, we can get everything in that map for $600m? That would be a revolution, it’s a pretty sweet network there.

  13. Is it time for some political action? The occupation of the Harbour Bridge was a wonderful day in our history, and I think some similar “cycle-ins” could have excellent impacts, if they’re accompanied by strategies. Under our current masters AT/NZTA/National only incremental change will happen.

    1. Protests about poor cycling facilities and the car skewed city planning is that got the Dutch their cycle lanes……

  14. I recently had the experience of walking/biking along the shared path on the Onehunga to Penrose waterfront and it was wonderful, as it was almost completely away from road traffic and surrounded by nature. The only disappointing part was that it comes to an abrupt end at Penrose; I would have happily continued around this whole section of the harbour back to Mangere Bridge which got me wondering, why has this never been proposed? Isn’t such a track just what Auckland needs to bring about a much great interest in these activities?

    Not only would it connect many suburbs and industrial (employment) areas for regular use during the week days but it also has significant recreational potential as well. The total length would be around 10km so it could also be used for running/cycling events during the year.

    Stopping in at Mangere Bridge the cafes were full of cyclists that already use this area; such a track I think would have great potential to draw many more to the area and bring urban renewal into this area, as well as other areas around the harbour as well?

      1. Would be excellent. There’s quite a bit of foreshore land in Southdown around the rail yards which is currently hidden away from us all, and there’s actually plenty of foreshore reserve all the way from the Otahuhu – Mangere causeway through to the Mangere Bridge(s). It could happen if we get the local boards excited about it.

        If were weren’t so focused on spending billions replicating existing roads, we could put down a few million to open up the other jewels in Tamaki Makaurau for us all to enjoy and experience..

      1. I have seen that proposal; the two could be linked together to form the basis for an extensive cycling network. The loop around the Manukau however would appeal to me for recreational purposes which I would think give a big boost to getting more people back into the activity. I think this loop could also be used as a basis for more direct connection to the airport through Mangere rather than the one proposed in the greenways project. Both projects have got a lot of merit.

    1. While a path on the southern side of the Mangere inlet would be great, I think an even more important item there is to link the existing path on the northern side eastwards across the rail line and the motorway (at least to Sylvia Park and beyond) so that it becomes a real route, instead of path for a Sunday trundle (not that a nice Sunday trundle is bad 😉

      1. I see this as an important hub where the spokes to many areas could be run from to make it an important part for the whole network and not just recreation. Already there is a planned link to Mt Roskill in the west, and as you mentioned a connection to east through Otahuhu could meet with the Greenways track and would provide North and South links. Finally a southern connection through Mangere to the Airport would also be achievable. As you can imagine this would connect a lot of industrial areas so could provide a good alternative for commuters – especially as some of these are less affluent areas that would benefit from a cheaper transport option. But on top of this it would also provide a great weekend ride for everyone!

  15. Nice to see the positive support for cycling investment in Auckland; I’ve had similar feedback since last Sunday’s programme, including some discussion with local CAA bods.

    I have to acknowledge who’s behind the numbers I mentioned and that’s Dr Alex Macmillan and the team at Akld Uni’s School of Population Health (I was just a technical peer reviewer for the work). The (actually) $630m included a mixture of separated cycleways on all arterial roads, and low-speed “self explaining” local roads elsewhere; it’s not quite the same as the previously proposed Regional Cycling Network of on-road cycle lanes and off-road shared paths. Being health researchers, they have produced a more sophisticated model of health benefits (such as mortality reduction from air quality and physical activity) than is used in the traditional NZTA economic evaluation process. Equally though, they were conservative about cycling safety, estimating many more cycle accidents simply because of the much greater numbers out there; I think there may be a better “safety in numbers” effect in practice. All this produced overall benefits of $13bn, producing a benefit/cost ratio of 22. Various scenarios of lesser investment (e.g. original regional cycling network plan, or separated bikeways only) cost less but produced lower (but still very good) BCRs. Also, the study was focused on cycle commuting, so the benefits may be understated if we consider other cycling trips as well (e.g. to shops).

    Re the discussion about allowing cycling on footpaths – um, nope. Despite perceptions, the relative cycle crash rate on ordinary footpaths is invariably higher than other options. That’s mainly because most cycle-m.veh crashes happen at intersections or driveways, of which neither scenario is improved by having people riding along the footpath instead of the road (less visibility or reaction time). Not too mention the substituted risk of bike-vs-m.veh with more bike-vs-ped’n crashes. Not to say that you can’t design safe off-road cycle facilities, but just sticking a “shared path” sign on a footpath probably won’t do it.

    1. Is that study available. I might so slam it on Len’s desk and go into a huge tirade.

      I am looking to sell my car and cycle, my only concern is safety.

    2. Glen K – I think you may have misinterpreted the footpath suggestion. We were not suggesting slapping “shared path” signs everywhere but actually just amending the road rules so that it allows people to cycle on footpaths.

      Now I agree that separate facilities are better, but it seems inequitable to allow mobility scooters on the footpath but not cyclists.

      And just because it’s on more dangerous on average does not mean it should be illegal everywhere. I’m an avid/fit cyclist and even I would chose to cycle on the footpath heading up the steep section of Parnell Rise, which is adjacent to a park (i.e. no driveways) and has a relatively wide footpath. I’d then re-join the road at the next intersection. I think NZ’s roads are too hilly and our cycling infrastructure too inadequate to expect everyone to cycle on the road everywhere.

      So I think we need a more flexible law that allows cyclists to cycle on the footpath, but only at low speeds and in a responsible way. Plus, if a cyclist injures a pedestrian then the liability should lie with the latter.

      1. Earlier surely? Cyclists on the footpath should be looking out for pedestrians as it’s the pedestrians’ domain…

      2. In Queensland it is legal to ride on the footpath and the overall injury stats look pretty much like ours which would indicate a fairly low risk exercise. Any changes would be accompanied by an education program of some sort I would suggest. Perhaps the footpaths could be used by people on bikes in a directional manner – ie travelling in the same direction as cars on same side to create a higher degree of confidence for pedestrians. Link these to bike (and pedestrian) safe intersections.

      3. Stu, it amounts to the same thing whether you stick a sign up or change the law; instantly an ordinary footpath is deemed suitable for cycling on, when in many (most?) cases it’s probably less safe than being on the road (despite perceptions). A mobility scooter is quite a different animal to a cycle (esp. in terms of speed).

        I didn’t say it should be illegal everywhere though. As you indicate in your example, there are plenty of places where it seems to make sense to use the path space (e.g. poor on-road options, no driveway/sideroad conflicts), in which case I would suggest stick a sign up.

        Alternatively, I *think* I could be comfortable with a Rule that allowed general footpath cycling if there was a “due care and ped’n priority” requirement (you could probably amend Clause 11.1 of the Road User Rule to achieve that – http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2004/0427/latest/DLM303667.html). But it would still have to come with signs for exceptions to the Rule – this time to indicate locations where cycling should still be prohibited (e.g. high proportion of ped’ns esp. vulnerable ones?), and true well-designed shared pathways where people cycling could travel at “normal” speeds with equal right of way.

        As you can see, there are exceptions to the rule no matter which way you do it, whether you have “generally permissive” or “generally restrictive” footpath cycling.

        1. I don’t think we should push for footpath cycling – it only aggravates pedestrians, and we need allies for cycling, not another group of people pissed off at inconsiderate cyclists (it only takes a small part of all cyclists riding on a footpath to be assholes (riding too fast / too close) to really get pedestrians pissed off – I see it occasionally on Park Road, coming from Grafton Bridge – people just going down the footpath at 15-20 km/h, way too fast in that shops area).

          Which is why, when reviewing Council plans for new cycle infrastructure for CAA, I tend to only support shared paths when there’s significant width available. Everything below 3m shared with pedestrians tends to be cyclists shooting themselves in the foot. In busy areas, 4m is needed.

          But really, separated from both cars AND peds is best (unless the speeds are 30 km/h or less, then cyclists should be on the road). Shame AT is not yet (well, very very rarely) suggesting Copenhagen Lanes in many places yet.

          1. And yet every day I see bunches of adults and children alike, breaking the law riding around Te Atatu on their bikes. Not going fast, just cruising. Will the adults let the kids ride their bikes on the road – heck no. How many more people could we get cycling if it wasn’t illegal? How else do we grow cycling given the very poor focus that AT appear to have for cycling and walking? Maybe if the numbers of young people on bikes grows significantly we can then push for ever more funding to get real infrastructure? Perhaps if we do annoy a few pedestrians they too will help us get the funding required for real cycling infrastructure? Riding a bike is not going away this time so we need to shout from the rooftops. Do we need to try and get a single local board on side (Waitemata?) and get AT to fund whatever they can to build a ‘model’ suburb that we can then show how good it can be rather than a little bit all over the place?

          2. Actually, that’s given me an idea. Henderson Massey LB are going to get a ‘suggestion’ along with examples :-).

    3. Love it, Glen. Thanks so much for bringing it in — can’t wait to hear more about it in mainstream media. Can you imagine a centre-right, BCR and business-loving govt finding a way to explain why they won’t invest in a 22-1 BCR programme for almost exactly the same &@#%$ing cost as a single intersection?

    4. I just watched the TVOne clip.. impressive and moving personal testimonies from the people closely involved in the accident. The sister’s comment about some drivers’ attitudes being the very opposite of what it means to be kiwi hits the nail on the head.. so why do we tolerate it? Also very fair reporting of the wider issues in rural and city cycling I thought.

      Glen K.. I would love a copy of to study or a summary that I could reference in correspondence to my misguided / deluded AC and central government representatives, Messrs Brewer and O’Connor.. also to the Orakei LB some of whom are much more sympathetic and positively disposed towards cycling infrastructure developments.

      $ 13 bn….!!!! Greg.. It beggars belief.

  16. So much land being used for the rail corridor for one form of transport. Seems like a waste when Auckland desperately needs separate cycleways.I guess Kiwirail would never let their corridor be used for anything but rail.

    1. The rail corridors are tiny compared to any one motorway. And the CRL, the vital rail line we are arguing for is almost entirely underground!? Takes up virtually no land what so ever, but lifts surrounding land values by bringing thousands of customers… Unlike motorways that depress land value, Newton, for example has never recovered commercially from ‘hosting’ its massive m’way land grab. And the capacity of one double tracked rail corridor is the equivalent of 14 m’way lanes.

    2. Go on google earth and zoom out from auckland. Zoom in until you can see the motorways, and then do the same for rail. Then come back with this nonsense.

      If you think it is unfair because you know where they are in Auckland then try it for London.

  17. In the 1970s when the “Stop de Kindermoord” campaign started, 345 children were killed on Dutch roads, not sure how many of these where cycle related. As a comparison. The Netherlands in 1970 had a population of about 13 million. New Zealand at 4 million has 12 deaths in the 0-14 years age group and but there is 81 deaths in the 60+ age group.

  18. Mike F – how much land is currently on the NZTA books (and Auckland Council’s for that matter) as road reserve? Its time for some serious road dieting to quote others. Looking overseas where you narrow the “car” lanes to promote a lower speed, along with partially or wholly separating bikes with those fixed plastic cones or better something like planters (or even still parked cars!), there is a whole menu of options on the table.

    1. and much of that land is being left as a wasteland, look at the destruction of Grafton Gully and the land NZTA doesn’t immediately want is left as a wasteland.

  19. Last comment was meant ask reply to Bbc
    This one is for Mike F
    If you what to use rail land the hardest part is getting you local council to ask. Kiwi rail do accommodate other modes when it can be done safely.
    http://www.kiwirail.co.nz/in-the-community/accessing-the-corridor/walking-and-cycling-tracks.html

    • Clearance – there must be a six metre clearance between the centreline of the rail track and a cycleway or walkway, one side for single track, both sides for double track.
    • Cycleways and walkways must be fenced off from the rail track.

    1. And this has happened in NZ before, there are a couple of walk/cycle ways on the rail designation inChch.

      1. I can think of an example in Auckland, where the Orakei walk / cycle way was able to be extended under the new Orakei over bridge along side the rail tracks.. so one day it will join up with the proposed cycleway across Hobson Basin.

  20. AT could make a huge step fairly quickly and easily, if they wanted to. ‘Zone 30’ could be applied to vast swathes of Auckland and then have these zones linked by off road cycle paths. Also, I have spent some recent time reading various accident reports from NZ and Australia. With the exception of ‘dooring’ incidents, most accidents involving cyclists involve intersections. If the intersections alone were rebuilt to Dutch standards and then have short paths leading to footpaths and the road, I’m certain we could make a big change to the accident rates around town. Unfortunately, AT have no inclination to really improve the lot of the cyclist and pedestrian. Proof – just this week they are installing a pram crossing on a road that can be busy at school times, and is used a lot during the weekend, when a speed table incorporating a zebra crossing would have been perfect. Can’t be holding those cars up. Ped vs vehicle equation didn’t work. Tell that to the kids wanting to cross the road. (and no, it’s not on a PT route). There needs to be a fundamental mind shift at AT. Until then, we will get piecemeal improvements at best.

    1. Have a look at the new crossing outside the eastern entrance to Britomart on Britomart Place. Auckland Transport went to great expense repaving the whole thing and installing a traffic island but quite clearly had no intention to actually slow cars down by installing a zebra crossing. This is a crossing outside the busiest PT hub in NZ, and we have a council authority who treats pedestrians like crap. It’s completely pathetic IMO.

      This is what I am referring to:

      http://i446.photobucket.com/albums/qq186/fusion234/IMG_2545_zps79962221.jpg

      1. I’m almost tempted to go down in the middle of the night with some white paint and do it myself – this is one of those piece of cake improvements that the council quite clearly has no interest in doing. I don’t see how we will ever improve Auckland’s inner city if it’s this difficult to provide pedestrian priority.

        1. It’s not just there, that is the end of a pedestrian boulevard through the centre of Britomart from the train station towards the carpark. There aren’t crossings at Commerce or Gore either. Just madness. It’s not like it will be holding up traffic on a main artery. And surely Galway and Tyler St are crying out to be shared spaces east of Commerce?

          1. indeed it’s all the way through the Britomart precinct, but this one sticks out as they spend several weeks and probably hundreds of thousands repaving and installing tactile strips. I’ve been honked at on several occasions for walking across and not giving way to cars.

          1. Plus, the roadway has been built far too wide, on a street that could use some slightly wider footpaths instead. You can’t park there (legally, although plenty of people do anyway), so why so wide?

      2. The Beach Road cycleway will end here, coming from the east. Even more reason to de-prioritise cars in this space.

        1. Any news on when the council plans to start this? I’m quite excited at the prospect of high quality cycle lanes on Beach Rd.

          1. Will be a while. And with “a while” I mean I can’t see it happening earlier than 2014-2015. There will very likely be a period when the NZTA part of the cycleway is done, but AT is still working around sorting the Beach Road end.

            In their defense, there’s some tricky sections, particularly between Te Taou Crescent and Churchill Street. I have been reviewing the plans with them, and even with parking removal (which they are willing to do) its not a simple job. Still – I hope this can be sped up a bit.

    1. Yea it sounds fantastic, and lord knows London needs it. (The roads here are rubbish, full of debris and gaping potholes and bad patch up jobs everywhere.) Boris has taken a lot of criticism for being all talk with his ‘pro cycling’ stance. But this proposal does suggest he really means it. You often see him bumbling around on a ‘Boris bike’ in the news here. I can’t imagine a National Party politician posing for a photo op on a bike with a helmet on.
      I don’t ever recall Len Brown mentioning cycling infrastructure in any detail.

  21. Also I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned it earlier but the ‘cycling vigilante’ has a YouTube channel called ‘the vexatious litigant’ and there are dozens of vids showing shocking driver behaviour. The best / scariest are when he has to have a ‘stop and chat’ with motorists who nearly take him out and then he inevitably catches them at the lights and confronts them. Most motorists, depressingly, tell him to f*#k off. Occasionally he also posts examples of ‘good passes’ too, to show that it can be done!!

    1. I don’t need to watch that, I see it every day, drivers who quite clearly intentionally accelerate past pushing you to the side, cut you off as they turn left, etc etc. They all know what they’re doing but for some bizarre reason many people don’t seem to think you’re a human being when you’re on a bike. Would they come up to me with a knife and try and stab me? No I don’t think they would, but inside a metal shell suddenly it becomes okay to maim, injure or even kill other people. Simply because they’re choosing not to burn oil, and for some bizarre reason some people find that extremely threatening.

  22. I hear that KiwiRail had some initial positive comments on putting in cycleways along rail corridor land, when Waitakere investigated it. And the Regional Cycle Network still contains a key corridor between Mt Albert and New Lynn and then further west running along rail.

  23. Summed it up nicely at the end. ‘Just get it built’! This message applies to a lot of the issues on this blog. Auckland will prosper if it does.

  24. about 5 years ago, a google search in response to some of the more reactionary North Shore City councillors who were proposing a “safer” alternative to the Lake Rd cycle lanes and annoying the motorists of Devonport. I can’t reproduce the exact search, but here are some examples:

    http://can.org.nz/system/files/Research-0201-Sidewalks.pdf

    http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/research/reports/389/docs/389.pdf; extract from p77:
    “Certain elements of off-roadway cycle paths have been recognised as having potentially higher crash risks, particularly, where they intersect with motor vehicle facilities and where motor vehicle traffic exits from driveways over footpaths. Shared-use footpaths have been singled out as being areas of high risk because of the high frequency of crossings and the potential for limited visibility. These risks are further compounded by New Zealand road rules requiring cyclists to give way to pedestrians and motor vehicles on side-roads. A wide amount of data compares the safety of cycling on the footpath with that of riding on any other facility, ranging from 1.8 to 2.5 times more dangerous than cycling on the roadway, and 8 to 11 times more dangerous than cycling on an off-roadway track (these rates may not necessarily account for the number of cycle crossings, the volume of pedestrians, or the available width on and adjacent to the path or track). Given the research, the provision of shared-use footpaths alongside roadways is not recommended.”

    http://casr.adelaide.edu.au/rsr/RSR2011/6CPaper%20079%20Haworth.pdf; extract from p2:
    “A review of the mostly North American literature on transportation infrastructure and cyclist safety (2) concluded that for mid-block locations “sidewalks [footpaths] and multi-use trails pose the highest risk, major roads are more hazardous than minor roads, and the presence of bicycle facilities (e.g. on-road bike routes, on-road marked bike lanes, and off-road bike paths) was associated with the lowest risk” (p.47). Many of the studies reviewed reported that the risk associated with footpath cycling was between 1.8 and 16 times that of on-road riding. However, all of the cited studies examined self-reported crashes which were dominated by non-injury crashes. The pattern appears to be different for more serious crashes.
    A US study which compared the riding locations of cyclists presenting at hospital emergency departments with uninjured controls found the relative risk of riding on footpaths compared with neighbourhood streets was 1.0 for adults and 0.6 for children (3). An other study which examined police reported bicycle-motor vehicle crashes at intersections (including driveways) in Palo Alto, California, found that the elevated risk of footpath crashes was almost exclusively related to cycling against the direction of traffic (RR=1.9), with no elevated risk for cycling in the same direction as traffic (RR=0.9) (4). Thus, it may be that footpath cycling is more likely to result in crashes than riding on the road, but that the resultant crashes are much less serious.”

    1. Hi Steve. Here are some interesting links based off the NZTA research.
      Here is the first line of research: http://www.bicyclinglife.com/Library/Moritz2.htm
      Next up it leads back to the ‘Kaplan’ report: http://www.bikeplan.com/kaplan.htm

      From a brief look this morning, where footpath (or other) crashes are noted, there is no break out of a) where – on the path, intersection etc or b) how serious the crash was – injury / serious injury / fatality

      My conclusion from, those particular sources, is that they do not offer enough evidence either way for footpath riding. I’ll do some more reading of other research documents.

  25. For the price and benefits — and especially if we’re trading off motorways — building a regional cycling network is a no-brainer. There are a couple of caveats with this particular plan though.

    One is that the RCN is designed at a pretty broad scale, with many of the lines of the map being off-street/off-civilisation, and often duplicating PT routes. Across most of the city, there are gaps at the short and local scale that are neglected. In key places like the CBD, it is just an inky blob of compromises — routes like Symonds Street lack a strong plan to support cycling, beyond directing us into the nearest gully. Instead, a truly integrated transport network would leverage cycling where it excels: short, local trips, and as a last-mile complement to PT. (Transport Blog ran a piece on that theme once, IIRC.) The RCN, for all its merits, isn’t that network. Like Max, I believe that Copenhagen-inspired infrastructure would be worthwhile. But I would go further and suggest it is more important to build that first, before growing a city-wide “arterial” network like the RCN on its back. Don’t get me wrong: neither approach would be the worst way to spend $600M in a transport budget — but I figure if cycling had that kind of funding, we could do better still. The danger, as always, is that we cash out on this and miss out on that.

    The second, lesser point is that I’m told the RCN is under constant development. Is the map in the post representative of something like the latest iteration? (I guess the CAA people would be in the best position to answer here.)

  26. curious, my post above was in direct response to BryceP’s query at 5:19PM, but it got shunted to the bottom!

  27. If this gets built, I would cycle everyday. Safety is my (well, my parents’) biggest concern about cycling right now.

  28. Thank you. I remember now, Dr Macmillan was on the front page of the East & Bays Courier commenting on the disastrous Ngahue Road “improvements”.. where four lanes were squeezed into two, turning what was a decently rideable road into my #1 road to avoid at all costs. The cycling vigilantes could probably get some great footage there.. (seriously no don’t do it).

  29. Problem is, not only are BCR calculations biased towards roading projects but:
    i) the engineers and management at NZTA are most comfortable with new roads and still believe its possible to build our way out of congestion
    ii) a significant increase in numbers of cyclists means a reduction in the fuel and road use taxes that are needed to fund NZTA’s new roads, and…
    iii) that would really upset the powerful roading lobby who are the largest campaign contributors to the main political parties (which is a reason why private motorists are subsiding heavy truck use of the State Highway network)

    It is tragic (and depressing) to see what’s happening in New Zealand. However it keeps me motivated to get walking & cycling access across the Auckland Harbour Bridge in the hope that this will be a catalyst project for active urban transport.

  30. It is really refreshing to read so many positive comments about cycling and so much understanding about the benefits of investing in cycling infrastructure. I just made the mistake of checking out the comments on the Sunday FB page following the programme – so many were heartless, offensive and sought to blame the victims. My thoughts are with the families of Jane and Stephen.

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